Cooking with Wine
Wine is a fantastic ingredient for elevating and adding flavor to your recipes. There are so many varieties of grapes, vintages, growing techniques, blending - there is no single ingredient quite like it!
I enjoy cooking with wine, and tend to avoid grocery store “cooking wines,” because the flavor isn’t as great, and it usually has added salt which will affect the flavor of your dish. Use wine that is fit to cook (and drink!) - if you wouldn’t want to drink it, continue exploring until you find a wine you love.
Concentrated wines such as sherry or marsala wine are great in small amounts. They will add a lot of flavor, so be careful with those heavy-handed pours!
There are so many great wines out there that you can enjoy cooking with - and having a glass of while cooking! They do not need to be expensive. My go-to wines are a creamy Napa chardonnay, a crisp sauvignon blanc, and a smooth pinot noir.
Some of my preferred cooking methods include:
A sautéed dish, where you add wine to the cooking pan and allow it to reduce - to cook off the alcohol and concentrate the flavor. A great example is chicken piccata where a pat of butter, some lemon juice, and dry white wine makes a flavorful sauce.
A slow-cooked dish, like a hearty winter stew.
In a quick flank-steak marinade for fajitas.
Splashing onto onions that are sautéing for a marinara sauce
One of my favorite classic techniques is sautéing shallots and mushrooms and adding a very generous splash of chardonnay or sauvignon blanc. It takes a few minutes to cook it down and concentrate the flavors but to me, this is time well spent! These make a delicious pizza topping or a delicious side to a chicken dish.
So pour yourself and glass and don’t be afraid to splash a bit of wine into your next recipe!